Indoor Plants for Garden-Less Homes

Learn what plants you can grow inside your home—with or without much sunlight.

Updated on June 09, 2017 11:06 am

Camille Besinga

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With many people opting to live in condominiums and townhouses without gardens or pocket green spaces, indoor plants are becoming more and more popular. But if, like many, you don’t know how to grow a house plant without killing it on its first few weeks (or, worse, days) with you, the trick is to find the right variety for the kind of home you have.

First, determine the level of sunlight, humidity, and temperature your chosen spot receives. Certain plants can grow with low light or under artificial lights, and even die when given too much sunlight. Some varieties, on the other hand, need bright, indirect sunlight, and lots of moisture. Here are some plants you can consider for your home.

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Aloe Vera
Apart from its many health benefits (the gel inside this succulent can actually help heal cuts and wounds; it also has the ability to clear the air of harmful chemical pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene), it is also a succulent that can be left mostly on its own. Simply leave it out in the sun, and water only when its soil is completely dry.

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Pothos
Whether you cultivate it in a pot or a hanging basket, the golden pothos (a.k.a. the devil’s ivy) will crawl out of its container into a beautiful cascade of heart-shaped leaves. It’s a very hardy plant, able to survive in low-light conditions and an array of normal room temperatures. Let soil dry a bit in between watering.

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Song of India
Its spindly, yellow-lined leaves can cheer up a lonely corner in your house. Just make sure there’s enough bright, indirect sunlight, and do not water frequently (slightly moist soil will do). If the air is a bit dry, simulate humidity by placing the plant on a shallow tray of pebbles sitting in water.

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Spider Plant
This easy-to-grow plant has remained a popular indoor plant because of its decorative look and air-purifying quality. You can keep it in a small pot or as a hanging plant, but in a spot that receives bright or medium lighting conditions. Keep soil evenly moist as well.

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Peace Lily
A flowering plant that thrives in low light? Yes, it exists, and it’s called the spathiphyllum, otherwise known as the peace lily. Shade, low humidity, and weekly watering are all it needs, and it will help rid the air in your home of harmful toxins like acetone, ammonia, and benzene, among others. Great for rooms with few windows.

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Snake Plant
Also (funnily) known as mother-in-law’s tongue, the spider plant thrives with low light and steamy, humid conditions (hooray, a plant for the bathroom!). In fact, any corner of your house is good, as this plant can withstand a wide array of lighting conditions. Plus, it filters out formaldehyde (usually found in cleaning products), as well as absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night. Keep roots moist and mist the leaves frequently.

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Bamboo Palm
Whether you want it small and low or large and tall, the hardy bamboo palm is very easy to grow. It flourishes in shady spots, and even produces flowers and small berries. However, it must be watered frequently. In return, it will clear out the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide.

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Boston Fern
Another plant that would love to have its own spot in your bathroom, the boston fern thrives in highly humid areas with moderate indirect light. It also rids the air of toluene and xylene, usually found in many paints and glues. Keep soil and fronds moist with regular misting.

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Bromeliad
We see this plant often in homes and offices, as the bromeliad amazingly blooms in artificial light. All you need to do is provide it good drainage—its roots are tiny and could drown if overwatered. Just mist the leaves every once in a while and check if its soil is moist. And about once every month, fill the “vase” in the centre of the plant with water.

Cover photo courtesy of SF Girl by Bay

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